“The Challenge: Free Agents” has been quite an interesting season to watch. With the new format — playing as individuals and the introduction of the draw — it’s been impossible to predict who would come out on top and who would get sent home. Alliances were useless for the first time ever, and sometimes, skill wasn’t all the competitors needed to win. Thanks to the draw and the kill card, luck has been a major factor in the game all season long.
“Free Agents” came to an exciting close during the finale on Thursday (June 26), with strong competitors almost quitting, and weaker competitors surprisingly finding the motivation to finish the finals at their own pace. And as for who won? Fans were kept guessing all the way until the end, because the ultimate scores were a combination of times from all five legs of the finals, not just who made it to the flag first. For the first three legs, the guys and girls were teamed up in pairs of two, with the teams changing up for each leg to make it fair. The final two legs were completely individual.
The first leg was white water rafting down a river. Bananas and Laurel finished first, with Nany and Johnny right behind them in second. Zach and Devyn finish third after flipping their boat and getting rescued by the safety team. They had to get back into their canoe and finish, but they made it to the finish line.
In the second leg, Devyn and Bananas are the only ones to finish the puzzle correctly (putting cities in geographical order from south to north), making up for time lost during the 10K run before the puzzle. Johnny and Laurel finished first with Zach and Nany in second, but both teams had an extra 30 minutes tacked on their times due to not finishing the puzzle.
In the third leg and final team leg, Zach “almost dies” while climbing the mountain, with Laurel cursing at him the entire way, losing her first place standing against Nany who passes them with Bananas to finish first. Zach’s body was cramping up the entire way due to the thin air and almost quit the finals about five different times, but he did end up finishing second. Johnny and Devyn went at Devyn’s pace the whole time and finished third.
After the three paired legs, the finals became individual, with the first leg on that very same night. The first of two final legs is stationary-biking 25 miles in freezing cold conditions, and Nany almost quits, having a meltdown off her bike before getting back on to finish second after Laurel. Devyn goes at her own pace and finishes third, an hour after everyone else went to sleep but proud of herself for finishing. For the guys, Bananas finished first, Johnny Portland finished second and Zach finished third.
The next morning, all the finalists are sore and freezing and tired but must face their final leg: Climbing a snow-covered volcano. Rookie Johnny pulls ahead of Bananas to be the first one to complete the hike, the best a rookie has ever done before, but knows it all comes down to the combined times to know if he truly came in first. Bananas reaches the top second. Laurel reaches the flag first for the girls, but only 4 seconds before Nany does, so first place for the girls is also up in the air. Zach finishes climbing after almost giving up and promptly collapses on top of the flag. Devyn almost quits, but in tears, makes it slowly up to the flag and finishes last, once again proud of herself for making it to the end.